It was an important lunch meeting with all of the major players sitting around the table. Over an excellent meal, we discussed the tremendous growth that was taking place within the company. While the numbers were spectacular and up-lifting, the challenge was to have it be smart growth, not just any kind of growth. What many leaders forget is that the organizations that grow too quickly often fail because their infrastructure can not support their operations.
For me, performance improvement begins with excellent goal setting. First, there needs to be ownership of the goals, clarity for why these are the goals, and alignment between goals and the strategic nexus. Once there is line of sight from the strategic plan to the 90 day plan, a good manager, who wants to see performance improve, asks the following three questions:
- “If you complete this 90 day plan, will it change the results?”
- “If yes, then I will hold you accountable to the changes.”
- “If not, then we need to change the 90 day plan.”
Next, all involved need to realize that there are many different kind of goals. For example, there are process goals to help improve getting to a destination. There are milestone goals along the pathway to a destination, and even destination goals
This week, ask the above three questions with the people on your team and check to make sure they are clear that operational excellence is based on continuous improvement.